The title of my book is “Studio d‘architettura civile” by Ferdinando Ruggieri, which doesn’t give away a lot about the content. There is a very long and descriptive subtitle though, namely “Sopra gli ornamenti di porte, e finestre colle misure piante, modini, e profili, tratte da alcune fabbriche insigni di Firenze erette col disegno de‘ piu‘ celebri architetti”, which translates roughly to “Study of civil architecture: About the ornaments of doors and windows, with the measures, plans, moldings and profiles, taken from some few renowned works of Florence, erected with the design of the most famous architects”. The content of the 4 books revolves mainly around the architectural detailing of famous italian architecture.
Most pages of the four books are filled with very detailed drawings of several building parts, ranging from tiny details of profiles and ornaments, over facades and staircases, to whole building structures. The really large format of the books allowed Ruggieri to make his drawings incredibly precise and with great detail. The drawings are also highly comprehensible, because everything is documented in plan, elevation, section and also written description. Apart from the description of what building part is depicted, there is further information on what building is being referenced and which architect designed it. At the beginning of each of the books, there is also an index, listing all of the architects included in the following drawings.
As he mentions in the introduction, addressed to the reader, Ruggieri wants to make the beautiful architecture of Florence accessible to a greater public. He explains his intentions as follows: After the awful periods of Goths and Barbarians, new renaissance architecture was created by architects such as Michelangnolo or Vasari. As a honorable citizen, he sees it his duty to make this beautiful architecture visible to more people. Because he is not the author of the actual buildings, it is important to him, to cite the architects in each of his drawings.